Deuteronomy 4

Moses spoke to a new generation of Israelites who were on the verge of making history — they were about to enter the Promised Land. He wanted to remind them that the secret to a life of abundance and success is to obey the Law of God and to love the God of the Law. As he stressed the importance of adherence to God’s Law, Moses made the point that once God has spoken, His word is not to be edited, but obeyed. It is not to be improved upon, but obeyed. It is not to be updated, just obeyed.

In verses 7-8, Moses revealed that this is what would set Israel apart from the nations of the world: they followed a God of both unparalleled righteousness and unparalleled compassion. He is supremely holy and holds His people to an unbending standard of holiness, and yet He is “so near” that He is there “whenever we call upon Him.” What an awesome God! Moses exhorted the people to testify about their Great Lawgiver to their children and grandchildren. They had to pass the faith along to the generations who followed them.

Knowing that the Israelites would be easily influenced by the idol-worshiping cultures around them, Moses warned them not to adopt their beliefs. God’s people are to change the culture, not be changed by it. Moses made it clear that if God’s people substituted true worship for the cheap imitation of idolatry, they would “provoke Him to anger” (v.25), be expelled from the Promised Land, and be scattered abroad (v.27).

Another reminder of what a great God we serve is found in verses 29-31. Our God is knowable and He wants to be known, but only if we seek His face, turn from our sins, and return to Him in obedience.

The story of God calling Abraham and making a great nation of his descendants was unprecedented. There is no god like Him: a God who condescends to reveal Himself, a God who delivers His people from trouble, a God who loves freely and blesses abundantly. A God like that deserves our worship, our devotion, our obedience, and our faithfulness.

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